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Visit the Viking

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  • Folo Watkins
    In 1892, the city of Chicago planned a world s fair to commemorate the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. The US government paid to have copies of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 17, 2009
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      In 1892, the city of Chicago planned a world's fair to commemorate
      the discovery of America by Christopher Columbus. The US government
      paid to have copies of the Columbian caravels made and donated to
      Spain, so they could be donated to the United States after being
      towed across the Atlantic. In Norwaty, twelve years had passed since
      the discovery of the Gokstad ship, and the Norwegians--feeling that
      the US had forgotten the true first Europeans in North America in
      their deification of Columbus--arranged the construction of a 1:1
      copy of the Gokstad ship. It was then sailed across the Atlantic on
      its own power, was taken through the Erie Canal to the Great :Lakes
      and sailed/towed to Chicago. It was called The Viking, and it was a
      high point of the Fair. Afterwards, it went down the Illinois River
      to the Mississippi and then to New Orleans, where it spent the winter
      of 1893-4. While there, it became the property of the city of Chicago
      and was towed back up the Mississippi to rest alongside the Fine Arts
      Museum of the Fair (by then the Field Museum and now the Museum of
      Science and Industry). She remains the only ocean-going vessel to
      have made this trip. The ship was refurbished and donated to Lincoln
      Park, where it was displayed in the zoo for over 70 years, then put
      into storage and eventually stored at Good Templar Park in Geneva,
      Illinois. It has gone thru years of neglect, repair and is now being
      strengthened and repaired for permanent exhibition. She is still a
      majestic lady.

      On Sunday, 21 June, the Park will host the 98th annual Swedish Day,
      allowing people into the park, to see the ship and to see the other
      elements of the festival, including an accurate Viking encampment. It
      was great fun last year and probably will be again this year. For
      more information, see http://www.swedishday.net/

      The park will also be open for visitors the next weekend, but there
      will be no other festivities. Hop you can stop by and enjoy the festivities.

      Cheers, Folo
      www.micelfolcland.org
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